Dev Bootcamp: Phase 1, Week 2

I’ve survived another week. It feels as though I’ve been here 8 months, not two weeks. DBC time distortion is real.

Monday, 6:21 PM - Bring it on

I AM DONE!!!!!!!! This is a momentous occasion. Today is the first day I completed all of the day’s challenges, and so close to 6 PM (end of day). Yay.

My experience of today:

Super, super tired this morning. I had 2 cups of coffee, and it’s got me a bit edgy and headache-y. We have an odd number of people in our cohort, and I drew the short straw today, so I got to pair with myself! Like solo day pt. 2. I’m grateful it worked out this way. I got to take naps and breaks without coordinating my schedule with another human person. I asked questions when I got stuck. I didn’t dwell on problems for more than a few minutes without asking for help. It made my day a lot more enjoyable. Overall a good day.

Tuesday, 6:03 PM - The Inner Critic

Our weekly Engineering Empathy class was about the Inner Critic. We did a few scary, yet enlightening activities tha made it clear that DBC is interested in challenging us in ways beyond the technial. I’m grateful for the growth opportunity, and I would like to acknowledge that this kind of work (sometimes called shadow work) is in many ways more difficult (for me) than learing web development. Good news guys - I’m not bored. I’m not even sure what bored feels like anymore.

(9:36 PM) We worked on CSV / parsing today. I experienced a good amount of anger and frustration. It’s a difficult topic to learn. It didn’t start to come together for me until Thursday, after putting in some qualiy time banging my head against my keyboard.

Wednesday, 6:06 PM - Approaching Burnout

Combination of yesterday’s EE topic, the fact that I essentially worked through the weekend, making this nonstop day 10, and the frustration of trying to work with unfamiliar file formats and modules that aren’t as well-documented as I’m used to … I’m hitting my edge.

We worked on Nokogiri and stuff today. It sucked. I did not understand many, many things.

A bright spot in the day - I met with our lovely DBC counselor. I left the conversation feeling as though I had my own personal cheerleader. As I’m in a high-pressure, high-stress educational program in a new state, that feeling of being supported really made my day. I am scared, but at the same time, I’m not afraid of bringing myself to the table and of showing my true colors, whatever they may be on any given day. And I’m incredibly impressed as the staff continue to create an environment where that is the normal way of things.

Thursday, 3:50 PM - Mock Assessment Day

The worst part of today’s mock assesment / checkpoint challenge was feeling like everyone else would finish and I wouldn’t and that would mean that I’m a failure as a person. At DBC we call this the “Inner Critic”. So, while I was trying to code, part of my brain was occupied actively suppressing my inner voice. Some people finished, some didn’t, but that really wasn’t the point. Dealing with my inner critic is going to be a significant portion of the work I do here, I feel. I chatted with my cohort afterwards - some people had a similar experience to mine, and others did not, which proves to me that it’s enirely possible to not have the ‘devil on the shoulder’ telling you mean things. Now I just need to figure out how to off mine.

Friday, 7:30 PM - Crushed it!

We had our second group project today and we just blew it out of the water. We finished at 3:00 PM on the dot with a functional MVP. We had time to fool around with the ‘colored’ gem, and a few stretch challenges. Overall, it was a very rewarding experience, topped off by the fact that we didn’t have to come in on the weekend to finish (as happened the weekend prior).

We had a hip-hop dance class later in the day for some cohort bonding. I think there’s a video, but I’ll never say where.

Final Thoughts

What works?

  • Naps are a girl’s best friend.
  • Theracanes are a marvelous invention.
  • Give what you have, without stressing that it’s not more.
  • There’s a great vegan lunch place down the block. Score for healthy eating! (not that vegan == healthy, they’ve just got a lot of yummy whole food options)

What doesn’t?

  • Pushing up to the point of exhaustion. No matter how much I wish to be able to work and learn more, my body has limits that I would do well to respect. This would be a really bad time to get sick.